Lapid files bill seeking broadband connection in all PH areas

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Lito Lapid on Friday said he has filed a bill aiming to establish broadband internet connection in all areas, especially in “underserved and unserved” cities, municipalities and barangays, in the country.

In a statement, Lapid said his Senate Bill 1598 also known as “Last Mile Broadband Internet Connection Act,” would mandate telecommunication companies to set up a facility for broadband internet connection in far-flung or isolated areas for every mobile phone number subscription.

The senator said he filed the measure after recognizing the vital role that the internet is playing, especially in terms of information and communication, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Lapid believes that all aspects of the people’s social and economic life are now being continually and consistently being shaped by the internet and its associated technologies, including telehealth, online education, digital commerce and trading, and financial technology.

“Sa kasamaang palad, marami sa ating mga kababayan ang hindi makasabay sa pagtungo natin sa digital age,” he said.

“Problema pa rin ng marami sa atin ang mabilis na internet connection at para sa mga mahihirap nating kapatid, ang pagkakaroon ng internet ay isang bagay na hindi kasama sa kanilang prayoridad lalo sa maliit nilang kinikita. Problema din ang kuneksyon sa internet sa malalayong lugar o isolated areas,” he added.

The measure seeks to task the National Telecommunications Commission to conduct a study to determine areas in the country that are in great need of internet connection and monitor the compliance of Telcos to this program.

“Oras na maisabatas ang panukalang ito, inaasahan natin na walang komunidad ang maiiwan pagdating sa internet connectivity. Lalo sa panahon ngayon na hindi na lamang luho ang internet kung isang mahalagang pangangailangan para sa trabaho at edukasyon,” Lapid said.

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